Seattle, WA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/24/2013 -- To most householders, all ants look pretty much alike. In truth, dozens of different species occur around homes and buildings, each having unique characteristics which may influence the method of control. In Kentucky, the most common house-invading ants include pavement ants, carpenter ants, acrobat ants, pharaoh ants, and odorous house ants. The latter species has become a particular nuisance in recent years, and will be discussed later in detail. Knowing which ant(s) you have often requires the help of an entomologist or knowledgeable pest control firm. Collecting a few of the non-winged worker ants in a plastic bag or vial will help with subsequent identification.
Odorous house ants commonly known as sugar ants will nest in virtually every imaginable location. They commonly nest outdoors under pavement, stones, mulch, woodpiles, flower pots, and house siding, foraging indoors for food and moisture. Nests also occur indoors within wall cavities, appliances, potted plants, etc., especially near sources of moisture. The nests tend to be mobile; colonies relocate fast and often in response to changes in weather and disturbance.
Winged ants can be distinguished from termites by comparing certain features. Ants have a narrow (pinched) waist similar to wasps, whereas termites are virtually the same width from end to end. Ants and termites each have four wings; however, on ants the front wings are longer than the hind wings while on termites all four wings are of equal size and length. Finally, the antennae of ants are bent or "elbowed" whereas termite antennae are straight.
Ants build their nests in many different locations both inside and outside of buildings. Species nesting inside, or foraging indoors for food or moisture, tend to be the most challenging to control.
Nuisance (house) ants
Certain ants, for example fire ants and harvester ants, attract our attention because they can sting people and animals. Some, like carpenter ants, are important because they damage building materials. And some ants only become pests when they enter homes in search of food and water.
The last group of ants usually causes no structural damage, and pose little health risk, but are important because of their numbers alone. These are the house-invading ants, nuisance ants or simply house ants. Common house ant species are: odorous house ant, Argentine ant, pharaoh ant and a few other species.
Most ants that invade homes are yellow, red, brown or black in color, constricted at the waist, and 1/8-1/4" long. If you find ants that are larger than about 3/8" (in the US) you've probably found carpenter ants. You may also occasionally see ants with wings (all species), these are the so called "reproductives".
For more information, please visit http://antscontrol.info/